Article Marathi

5 fine performances by Ramesh Deo in Marathi cinema – Birthday special

As the veteran actor turns 89 (he was born on 30 January 1929), we look at five of his performances to understand his contribution to Marathi cinema.

Keyur Seta

Every film industry has its share of legends. For Marathi cinema, Ramesh Deo is one such. With a career spanning over 65 years, he has played a variety of roles in Marathi and, later, Hindi films, adapting according to his age.

As the veteran actor turns 89 today (he was born on 30 January 1929), we try to understand his immense contribution to Marathi cinema by taking a look at five of his memorable performances.

1) Vardakshina (1962) 

Commercial Hindi cinema has churned out many a film that has a man helping a woman to get married only to end up falling for her. Director Dinkar D Patil’s Vardakshina explored this theme 56 years ago in Marathi cinema. Ramesh played a shy, unheroic, totally relatable hero to Seema Deo’s leading lady.

Besides this lovely romance, Vardakshina had a social message. It strongly spoke against the practice of dowry, albeit in a preachy way. With the same message being tackled in 2014's Daawat-e-Ishq, directed by Habib Faisal, it seems little has changed in society. 

2) Bhagya Laxmi (1962)

Director Anant Mane’s Bhagya Laxmi saw Ramesh Deo team up with one of the biggest names from Marathi cinema's golden era — Jayshree Gadkar.

The actor played the idealistic hero to perfection. His character was that of a dashing young doctor who believes deeply in family values. He marries Gadkar's character and they have a child. One day, he gives shelter to a penniless man unaware that the man is a part of his wife's past.

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3) Apradh (1969)

Ramesh Deo and wife Seema starred together in a number of romantic films. Director Rajdutt's Apradh was one of them. However, Apradh had something more. The film had a love triangle (involving Ramesh Deo, Seema Deo and Indrani Mukherjee) with a slice of crime drama woven smartly into the plot.

Ramesh Deo was thoroughly believable as a lover who subtlely gets brainwashed into committing a crime.

4) Dost Asava Tar Asa (1978)

Ramesh Deo in Dost Asava Tar Asa

By the late 1970s, Ramesh Deo was past the age of the quintessential leading man. But whenever he did get cast in a leading role, he still managed to pull it off, like in Devendra Goel’s family drama Dost Asava Tar Asa.

The character was modelled to suit the star's age, as a man in his late 30s without any actress to romance. Ramesh Deo played Sadanand aka Sadu, who runs a mobile supermarket. He is close to a family that runs into problems and eventually manages to save it from falling apart. The actor ruled the film with his attitude and commanding performance.

5) Jetaa (2010)

There is rarely anything new in on-screen revenge sagas. Jetaa, however, had a senior citizen wreaking havoc on the bad guys who kill his daughter. Ramesh Deo, 81 years old then, did not let his age come in the way and delivered a convincing performance as an old man out for blood.

The revenge angle makes Jetta different from the Hindi drama Virudhh... Family Comes First (2005), starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore and John Abraham. Jetaa also had Ramesh's wife and long-time co-star Seema and son Ajinkya, who played a police inspector.